Image: Mahafaly tomb with aloalos
Mahafaly tomb with aloalos, Madagascar.
- Andre Magnin
- © Andre Magnin
The Mahafaly of southern Madagascar bury their dead inside square enclosures of wood or stone. The horns of sacrificed zebu (a type of buffalo), and carved wooden memorial posts called aloalo decorate the tombs. The word alo means 'intermediary' or 'messenger', so the memorial may help the deceased to join the community of ancestors.